One of my favorite places to visit at the Minnesota State Fair is the Dairy Building. If you haven’t experienced it, you’ll quickly understand why the lines are so long inside once you get a taste of the delicious malts they sell.
But that’s not all it has to offer!
The Dairy Goodness Bar, run by the Midwest Dairy Association, regularly ranks among the fair’s top food attractions. In 2011, it served more than 200,000 items, including malts, sundaes, ice cream cones, yogurt, cheese sticks and milk.
New this year at the bar is Yoplait Greek yogurt, which more health-conscious fair goers can purchase in two tasty flavors – honey‐vanilla and strawberry.
I caught up with Christine Reitsma, the 59th “Princess Kay of the Milky Way,” at the Dairy Goodness Bar. (Princess Kay is the goodwill ambassador for the Minnesota dairy industry).
Reitsma told me about her love of Yoplait Greek yogurt. She says she eats in on a bagel!
“I eat yogurt so much that my parents sometime take it away from me!” says Reitsma. “Greek yogurt is delicious and it will continue to be a breakfast food for me.”
Reitsma grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Sauk Centre, Minn., as she told us in this video interview.
As one of her first official duties as Princess Kay, Christine sat in a rotating cooler on the opening day of the fair to have her likeness carved out of butter. The cooler – another can’t miss fair favorite – is kept at 40 degrees.
It took sculptor Linda Christenson about six hours to carve Reitsma out of the 90‐pound block of butter. She has created butter sculptures at the Minnesota State Fair for 41 years. In all, she has made more than 450 butter sculptures, including likenesses of David Letterman and Big Bird.
Reitsma is a freshman at the University of Minnesota studying applied economics. She hopes to have a future job in the dairy industry.
In the year ahead – besides being a full-time student – Reitsma will be visiting schools, festivals and fairs across Minnesota to promote the goodness of dairy.
In addition, she’ll be promoting Fuel Up to Play 60, a program founded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League – in collaboration with the USDA – that empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday nutrition and fitness changes at school.
General Mills has partnered with the National Dairy Council to offer K-12 schools Fuel Up Breakfast Grants to grow or expand breakfast programs. Schools have increased breakfast participation by offering nutritious morning meal choices such as yogurt parfaits, fruit, whole grain cereals and low-fat and fat-free yogurt. More than $300,000 in funding has been awarded to-date.
Editor’s note: This post is part of a series this week, highlighting our connection to the Minnesota State Fair. The photo above features Maerenn Jepsen, Bridget Christenson and Kevin Hunt from “A Taste of General Mills,” with Princess Kay Christine Reitsma.